Monday, February 23, 2015

Day Trip to the North Shore

Our last trip up north was in September to see Jimmy's sister's new house.  We made another quick trip up there on Sunday to celebrate our niece and nephew's birthdays.  We got on the road early so we could arrive by lunch.
 It's a pretty quick drive, especially with the right road trip music.
 I usually forget to get a picture of Parker with all his cousins, but it was the first thing we did this time!
 Izzy was only four when I first met Jimmy, I can't believe she is almost a teenager.  Paul is just your quintessential 5 year old.
 After dessert and presents we just relaxed and played some Wii.
 Parker has a great time playing with Paul...
 And tormenting playing with Gus Gus
 It was so fun to spend the day with family.  Parker was snoozing before we were out of town (I wasn't too far behind.)  What a weekend!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pretzeldent's Day 2015

I got the ridiculously amazing postcard several weeks ago and was excited from the start.  It was an invitation to an epic theme party.
 My friend Brianne (a history teacher) organized it.  She had a pretty amazing outfit for the occasion too!
 She encouraged everyone to dress up as well, but not very many did.  I had higher hopes for myself, but ended up just making a first place ribbon and I was a "first lady."  The pretzel glasses were provided and really made the look.
 Parker sported his Air Force One shirt we got him in DC last year.
 Cutie pie Ember also took the pun route and dressed as Teddy Rose-a-felt!
 Who knew it would be so easy to meld pretzels and Presidents!  The decorations were spot on.
 The food topped it all.  Jalapeno pretzel bombs for appetizers.
 Burgers on pretzel buns for the entree.
 Pretzel dogs for the kids.
 Cinnamon pretzel bites and key lime bars with a pretzel crust (my contribution) for dessert.
Pretzels and beer cheese for a snack later!
 We only got to stay for one game, but it was just as amazing as the rest of the party.  Brianne made custom Taboo cards to go with the theme.
 It was a pretty great crowd!  Hopefully this can become an annual party!
Thanks for being an amazing friend and party host Brianne!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Night out in St. Paul

Tonight was date night!  It was my turn to plan so I decided we'd go to Casper and Runyon's Nook (The Nook) in St. Paul.  They have a bowling alley in the basement and I was hoping we could bowl while we ate, but it was closed for a private party so we just waited for a table.  We have been a couple times in the past, but it was years ago, prior to rebuilding after a fire.
 It was just as delicious as last time.  The Nook is famous for their juicy nookie stuffed burgers.  Jimmy went with the original, stuffed with american cheese.  I branched out and got the spanish fly.  It is a mix of beef and spanish spiced pork stuffed with queso!
On a whim, I decided we'd go check our Gigi's cupcakes because they were just on Undercover Boss. Unfortunately, Google led us astray and it was not open when we arrived.  We "settled" for red velvet cake from Mort's Deli instead.
We finished the night watching the last few episodes of Seinfeld.  Such a great show and even better in order!  Dad, now it's your turn, please don't force mom to watch it with you!  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Family Day at Preschool

Parker's preschool has a family day every month.  Both Jimmy and I were able to attend today.  It was a great opportunity to see his classroom in a live setting (we had seen it without kids there) and see what his daily schedule was like.  He has a locker outside him room.  Each child has a certain color assigned to them and it is used throughout their daily schedule.
They use picture exchange communication(PECS) for many of the daily activities, including snack time.  Right now he is given a choice of snacks and is asked to indicate which one he would like.  As his language develops they will add "I" and "want" for him to ask on his own.
 He was doing some free play when we arrived, then transitioned into the sensory station.  This month's activity is playing with trucks and playdoh since transportation is their focus.
Each child has their own picture schedule to use throughout the day.  When Parker is done at one station he will take a blue tag with his name and put it in the envelope at the top.
Then he takes the picture for his next activity and goes to that area.  He is still working on knowing all of the activities, but did great for motor play.  This is his favorite activity and knew right where to take his picture.
 Once the tag is put in the box at that station they can start learning/playing.
They have a great swing right in the room and he knew just how to make himself spin around and move!
 The last thing on the schedule was circle time.
 I was very impressed with how well Parker sat for most of it.  This was also my first time seeing a smart board.  Education technology sure has changed.  I am bummed that Parker will never know the joys of transparencies and overhead projectors, but this was pretty cool!
 Each child got to color a heart...
 Then they listened to some songs about the color pink and excavators!
 And everyone got to choose a vehicle noise to play.
 We sang a goodbye song, bundled up, and headed home.  
We are so proud of how amazing Parker is doing in school.  He really has made a lot of great progress in just a few weeks!