Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's Hallo-weeeeen! It's Hallow-weeeeeen! I'm still singing the Diego Halloween song that Maggie had to watch this morning. She is very excited for Halloween and told me several times that she LOVES Halloween. She is dressed as a "spark-ley" ghost. They were to arrive in their costumes at daycare and were going to have a Halloween parade around the YWCA and visit a near-by vet center or nursing home (I can't remember which) to show off their costumes. Tonight, we will take Maggie around the neighborhood and then be at home to hand out candy. I'm sure, as it was last year, Maggie will be in "one for me, one for you" mode as she hands out the candy. I believe last year, she was even generous enough to share a half-eaten Tootsie Roll.

Later Halloween night: Maggie really enjoyed trick or treating and has asked to go again several times. She enjoyed handing out candy to the kids that came around, but wouldn't go near the door if the costumes were scary. She even fell asleep early!

In other news, Maggie actually took a nap last Sunday! Rocky and I had some time to ourselves and used it wisely! We played Monopoly on the Wii :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The other night, in a moment that melted my heart and one I want to remember -- especially when she turns 13 and would rather DIE than admit this -- Maggie turned to me and said "Mommy, you're my friend."

She also informed her daddy (when Rocky said "what's for dinner, woman?") that I am not a woman, but "That's MY Mommy!" She did also tell him that I'm not Wonder Woman either.

During a bath, she started talking to her shadow. She asked her shadow "Are you too hot or too cold? Me too, I too cold. Mommy, I all done wif my baf!"

If Maggie really wants something, she will tell us that "I need and want . . . " If we respond with, "Maggie how are you supposed to ask?" "I ask! I need and want . . . "

Friday, October 24, 2008

Maggie in Preschool

Maggie's preschool class took a trip to the pumpkin patch on Tuesday and I was able to go along. 14-3 year olds, several parents and 2 teachers made for quite the interesting trip. One of her teachers, Miss Kim, rode with me and it was nice to get a chance to chat with her. Maggie goes directly to preschool from daycare, so we rarely get to see or talk with her teachers. Miss Kim told me that she sometimes has to remind herself that Maggie is a "young" 3. Maggie seems to enjoy preschool and will talk about her day. She will even occasionally tell them she needs to use the potty -- and use it!

The kids really had a fun time at the pumpkin patch. They have farm animals, a jungle gym and slide made from farm equipment and a corn maze. The kids loved going through the maze and picking up the corn that had fallen off the stock during the snow storm. They were quite muddy when all was said and done. Fortunately, they all wore their YWCA t-shirts, so their actual clothes did not get too bad. Every child did pick out a pumpkin and we had 2 wagons to haul them in. There were a few tears about who would get to pull the wagon until they remembered (were told) how to share pulling and pushing the wagon. They took the responsibility very seriously, until we got back to the jungle gym!

Nap time is apparently also a struggle at daycare. It is weird that it kind of makes me happy? Yesterday, when I picked Maggie up at daycare, she greeted me by telling me she had an "owie" and tried to explain what happened. Something about using her walking feet and her little friend Carmen. I wasn't concerned, until she fell asleep on the way home. And continued to sleep all night! Well, almost all night. I woke her up around 7:00 just to be sure she was all right. She fell back asleep until around 6:45 this morning! Fortunately, she woke up in a good mood. I asked the daycare director if Maggie had been hurt yesterday and whether or not she took a nap. Miss Sandy told me that Maggie is very good at pretending to take a nap! She will lay there very still until they think she is asleep and will then pop up! Fortunately, she is not distruptive. So it looks like Maggie is about ready to give up nap time, but not quiet time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall returns to Montana

Fall has returned to Billings in all its glory. There are a few branches on the ground, heavy from the snow and leaves, but otherwise, the colors are vivid and bright and there is the smell of fall in the air. I really miss the smell of burning leaves. Too bad that's not allowed anywhere anymore. Every day this week, the snow banks got smaller and smaller, until now there is very very little snow left. We took advantage of a 70 degree day yesterday and visited the zoo. The animals were also enjoying the sun, but weren't very active. As the weather turns colder, they will become more active and I'm sure Maggie will enjoy the zoo even more. Maggie walked almost through the entire zoo -- with a little bit of a shoulder ride from Daddy!

Maggie has become a master in the art of "Nap Time Stalling." Yesterday, after spending the morning at the zoo and getting a hair cut and going grocery shopping, we thought for certain, Maggie would take a good nap. We were quite mistaken. There was cajoling, pleading, crying, bargaining and flat out stalling most of the afternoon. At one point, Maggie was laying beside me on the couch simply saying "Wubba wubba wubba" in a successful effort to fend off the nap. Both Rocky and I tried laying beside her -- nope. I heard her through the baby monitor saying "Daddy, wake up! Daddy wake up!" We tried leaving her alone with a video, only to hear to hear her singing along to her puppy. She is at the age where she could probably give it up, but we know she takes one a day care (peer pressure) and I doubt she fights them as much. Probably because she knows she won't miss anything there. She did eventually fall asleep last night -- around 7:30. She slept until 11 and then wouldn't let me leave her side. I'm sure that's because I was in Missoula 2 nights last week.

It was nice to visit Missoula and I even had time to walk around the campus. There are a few new things, but the old dorm looked the same and it didn't take me long to remember where to find things. It was a beautiful fall day there as well, and I wished I had brought the camera along. I even got to watch a little of the football and marching band practice. It brought back some lovely memories of my school year in Missoula and also a few thoughts about where my life would be had I decided to stay in Missoula rather than returning to USD. I'd probably be right where I am now, but it would make the college football season a little more interesting now that I'm able to watch the UM and MSU football games every weekend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And it's still snowing!

Okay, actually, I think it has finally stopped snowing as I can see a little sunlight coming through the window, but we did end up with probably about a foot and a half of snow. It was around 40 the last time I looked at the thermometer and it seems to not be sticking to the concrete any longer. This morning, however, it was still snowing when we got up. Around 9, Maggie asked to go play in the snow and we decided to put her new snow suit to the test (which we bought just a week ago!) She was in heaven! We were out for a little under an hour and her cheeks and nose were very rosy. But the smile never left her face while we were outside. We tromped all over the backyard, and Otis even hung outside with us. He didn't seem to mind running and jumping through it while we were out there. We tried to get a video of him running, but for some reason, the camera didn't save it. We waded through the knee (for me) and hip (for Maggie) deep snow down to our little creek to "see the water." We got out the sled and made paths all around the backyard. We dug out Maggie's shovels and she decided to "help" Daddy shovel by putting more snow on the slab in the back. The digging didn't last long, she wanted to sled. Otis really got into the snow as he could more easily follow us around behind the sled and he even rolled on his back for a brief moment.

The snow is beautiful and while it may be gone by next weekend -- one of the joys of living in the dry climate of Montana -- we now know we have a little snow bunny on our hands. And I need to start looking for a decent pair of snow pants for myself (I did order some boots the other day and they'll get here just in time for this snow to be gone).

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Ye-gads, it's still snowing here! It may have let up a few times yesterday, but it has been falling steadily since Maggie and I got up around 6 a.m. (yes, she is an early bird). There is some wind, and it's very chilly, so Maggie and I are hanging around the house while Rocky is at class. Currently, Maggie is hanging out in a basket of clean clothes watching "The Incredibles." I'm hoping it is not "No-Nap Saturday" as I'd really like to be able to finish the laundry without her help and then maybe sneak in a few Wii games. If nothing else, it is the perfect day to watch movies, eat popcorn and have some hot chocolate (I found a great recipe by Paula Deen for a very rich hot chocolate!)

Nala would have adored this snow, but Otis has not changed his mind about the stuff. He's been out a few times this morning, to do his business, and has sniffed around a bit, but does not linger. My "unofficial" measure is between 5-7 inches, depending upon where I'm measuring. We are supposed to see somewhere between 9 and 18 inches. If this is a taste of winter, I think we are in for a snowy one!

Friday, October 10, 2008

SNOW! on our anniversary

Holy cow! It's snowing! And it's a wet, heavy snow like we grew up with. The weathermen all estimated around 9 inches before it's done. The trees are very droopy as not many leaves have fallen yet. The power went out briefly at the hospital and apparently some phone lines are down.
It's such a contrast to the weather we had 5 years ago when we got married. It was definitely Indian summer -- I think it was in the 80s the day we got married. It was a beautiful day in Michigan. And we had a lot of fun that weekend. We'd love to be able to go back and spend a week in a house on Lake Michigan again. It'd be nice if we could get family and friends together more often like that without having to wait for someone to get married! But life gets crazy and people move further away from family which makes it even hard to get together. Maybe we just need to plan a big anniversary blow-out party for our 10th!

It's been a good 5 years. We've had some adventures in living space, travels, growing our family, moving across the country twice! All in all, if I had to do it over, I'd do it again!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

World's Smallest Tomato Crop

This past May, while enjoying a sunny day, Maggie and I planted some tomato seeds. I don't remember where I got the seeds, but thought Maggie would enjoy digging in the dirt and watering the potter. I didn't expect anything to come of it. Guess my thumb is greener than I thought. The seeds took off and by July 4th needed to be replanted into bigger containers (we had just gotten the lawn put in, so didn't want to disturb that). A month or so later, in looking at the plants, I noticed some red. As I got closer, I noticed 3 more -- we had 3 teeny tomato plants. They couldn't have been more than a 1/4 inch in diameter. I left them on the plant as I wasn't sure they would be very tasty and what are you going to do with 3 teeny tomatoes? A few weeks later, more teeny tomatoes appeared -- most of them green! Maggie and I took a sunny afternoon in September and picked the ones that seemed like they would turn ripe and brought them in. I rather thought that it would freeze soon and the rest would be lost. Again, I was wrong.

Yesterday, Maggie and I picked another batch of green tomatoes! She had a grand time, picking "her" tom-matoes! I didn't worry about their size this time around, though they are all still very teeny. Our crop has doubled in size! I'm still not sure of their taste (I'm a little fearful and not the best judge of tomatoes), but will be making a large pot of chili next weekend and plan to stew the little buggers in!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Raising a Smart Aleck?

Maggie is turning into a funny little kid:
  • The other day, she asked her dad for some milk. He asked if she wanted to come along and she said "No, I'm comfortable" and laid back on the couch, with her hands behind her head.
  • She wants to be a dog or wants us to be a "New Dog." She will then say "Mommy, look! A NEW puppy! What a nice puppy!" If we ask what the puppy's name is, she replies "Umm, Dog!" She doesn't quite understand the concept of "names."
  • At a hotel after we visited Great Grandma Hansen, I was laying on the bed watching TV and Maggie comes up to me and says "Okay, listen to me. Calm down" and does a "calm down" motion with her hands. About an hour after we got to my grandmother's for a visit (5 hour drive), Maggie turns to me and says "Okay, it's time to go home now."
  • Maggie came along to rehearsal one night when Rocky was there to get video. We sat in front watching the photos and she was looking at the lights. One of the performers came on stage and she turned to me and said "We're going to see a movie!!" I said "No, it's a musical." "A moos-icle? No, a Movie!" If anyone laughed while she was there, she laughed along and said "That's so funny!"

I know it's only a matter of time before she starts telling jokes.