Monday, June 28, 2010


We're in our new house. The move went fairly well. We had a lot of great help. Most of our family was here, too, so we celebrated Anders birthday a few weeks early. It was good to have the cousins around as it gave the boys something to do while we were loading and unloading boxes.

The boys have done pretty well with the move, but of course, they're still adjusting a lot. It's a very different neighborhood than we've been in before, we've got a lot more space (and yard) to run around in and they don't really know anyone around us yet--all their friends are a few miles away.

My father also treated them to ice cream treats while he was here. That's trouble since they now are keenly aware what that music means when the trucks start coming down the street. And come down the street, they sure do. On one day we might see three or four different trucks and most come by twice. Thankfully, my wallet has been empty, so it's a good excuse.

We've found a couple free wading pools in nearby parks, so we're excited to have those available this summer. We've found to our local library--which is within an easy bike ride. It's also very different than our library we used to go to, providing new things to explore. It's also a completely different culture in the city. That in itself will is going to provide a lot of life lessons and teachable moments. But isn't that what parenting is about?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

T minus 2 (Days)

In less than two days we close on our house. For the past week and a half, boxes have been gradually stacking up in our place. Household items are disappearing (into the boxes). I think the boys are reacting to it--at least Nils is. Anders is old enough that he remembers our last move fairly well. He knows that everything that goes into a box (including books and toys) will get moved to our new house and be unpacked there so they have access to them again. I don't think Nils grasps that yet. I'm not sure if Toy Story helps or hinders our cause.

Nils has been having more accidents in his undies, wakes up a little more during the night and needs more attention (which, of course, is harder to give him as we're packing in addition to all the other household chores). Plus, there's plenty of stress in our lives right now, and I know kids pick up on that.

So, we're trying to take breaks and give them both some good focused time. And we're talking him through things and helping him identify his emotions. I think we all need to do that sometimes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My boys enjoy taking pictures. We even found a real, working digital camera made by Little Tykes for them at a thrift shop for $3. This past weekend I took the boys to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. I actually took their camera with, but didn't double-check the batteries I had just recharged and put in it. So we all shared my camera.

Here's some of the pictures from my 3 1/2 year old (most of his were easy to identify because a part of his body was in the picture; I didn't include all those).

And here are some of the pictures taken by my almost-6-year old.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More Parenting Advice

I came across a piece of parenting advice that I forgot to mention the last time (click here for the previous article on my parenting advice).

Never make threats or promises you can't keep. I remembered this one as I almost violated it tonight. The boys weren't staying in bed and trying to get to sleep. I almost said, "Stay in your beds or you won't be having a playdate at your friend's house tomorrow night." They're supposed to go over to their best friend's house tomorrow around supper time so that Beth and I can have a few hours out to celebrate our anniversary (13 years today). I'm not going to take away our date night because the boys weren't settling down tonight.

A few more, while I'm thinking of them:

Don't give your kids everything they ask for. I see a lot of kids who have every toy they want, go any place they want, do anything they want. They're going to be in for a rude awakening when they're out on their own and a boss doesn't give them that raise they ask for or a professor doesn't change their grade after they ask. A big part of parenting is to raise our children to be able to live without us around some day, instilling them with good values, common sense and a strong character. I think we often do our children better by teaching them they don't always get what they want.

Teach children to work hard. Again, this is another area of preparing them for their adult lives, and it's kind of connected to the previous point. I had to pay for college myself. Because of that, I never skipped a class unless I was sick (because I knew how much each class was costing me). I also made sure I wasn't going to have to take a class a second time. I grew up on a farm and had chores (inside and outside the house) since I was young. I may not always be the best example of hard work (I admit there are times I get too wrapped up in time-wasters), but I know that working hard makes me feel better, often helps other people and gets the job done.

So, as parents, let us set the example and work hard to raise our children right. It pays off.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Snack

One of our favorite snacks right now is a small bowlful of plain yogurt with blueberries, sliced strawberries and raspberries. I love when berries are in season.

Actually, it's not my 3 1/2 year old's favorite. I haven't convinced him about plain yogurt yet (even with all the fruit). He'll do the flavored yogurts (which often contain corn syrup). Or just the berries. But berries and yogurt together is going to take a little convincing. At least he's eating the berries.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lofty Goals

Late this afternoon we were hanging out with our neighbors a little bit. She asked Anders what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, "A lot of things." So to try and get some specifics she asked what he'd like to be first. "Maybe a Jedi . . . and then a superhero."


Sometimes I have days where I wonder if we're making the right choice by sacrificing a much-needed income with having me stay at home with the boys. Today is one of those days. I also know that God will provide. So, I'm trusting. Which is all you can do sometimes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gutter Ball

A friend of mine bought a cheap pass to a bowling alley that he has taken us with a few times. Only Nils has gotten to bowl--Anders has been in school when we go. But it's a fun time for the hour we get (which can be a little long for a 3-year old at times).

The local bowling alley (Park Tavern & Bowl) has these nice scoring machines that you can program which players need bumpers and other things. The kids enjoy it--and it doesn't matter much how they do.

I've heard of several bowling alleys around that offer free bowling for kids in the mornings. Check it out if you haven't tried it with your kids yet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Nephew

I had my last day watching my niece last week (I've been doing it a couple days a week after my brother-in-law got a new job). My sister just had her second child (a boy), so she's going to be staying home with her kids for a while. I'm partly relieved: it was a little more work watching her (as she was around a year-and-a-half and into everything), at times I had three kids on different schedules in a 2-bedroom apartment and sometimes she just needed to be held--usually when I needed to get things done.

But I'm also going to miss it: I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with my niece, and it helped for Nils to have someone to play with on some of the mornings Anders was at school. Plus, it's cool to see her grow, too.

Of course, Anders is finished with school at the end of the week. And in less than three weeks we'll be moving into our new house. So, things will be busy enough as it is. And they're close enough that we can get together for play dates as the baby gets bigger--and even before then. That's my 5-year old in the picture, reading to his cousins. He held the baby for quite a while; he really likes babies. It's good his new cousin lives nearby.