Happy New Year!

It’s been awhile huh? For awhile there there was some major problems with my domain name and the company going out of business and it being lost. Or so I thought. I thought it wall gone and over the course of several months I came to terms with it. Until one day I asked if we should stop using the website service provider and he said “But the website is still there. IT was resolved months ago.” Well no one told me.

It has been on my to do list for months now to start writing again. But write what? I don’t know. People don’t do journal blogs anymore detailing the trivial details of their life. They do facebook and instagram and other such services with teeny little tidbits about the best things they are doing. I would be a hippocrite if I said I didn’t do it either. I do. Anyway. I still have my website, and so therefore I should do something with it. Since the last post was a year ago almost to the day, I should do some updates.

Me – I have a job. I am working full time with my tribe as a language apprentice. It is very challenging at times for a variety of reasons, none of which I will go into detail here. But overall, I like it. It really makes me think, create, adapt and learn. It is a four year position. I don’t know what will happen afterward, but after working for 6 months — I have started to think of a focus for my apprenticeship — other than learning the language and that is to ultimate create distance language learning resources for people who want to learn ho chunk — but can’t leave their house, or have other other obligations that prevent them from going to classes, or live to far away. I do have a youtube channel with short language videos I have made — you can see them here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1XDeJ9tZnlMTeJFyquJgrw?nohtml5=False

Sure they are low quality — but considering I didn’t know anything about making videos or was able to speak much language 7 months ago — it’s not too bad. My hope is that I get better.

Other than work, I still am the Chair of the Johnson O’Malley Dane county program, go to PTO meetings, maintain a monthly book club, host parties, hang out with friends, volunteer for my community and watch too much TV while coloring.

Morella – is in 2nd grade and is awesome. She is an excellent swimmer and started taking piano in January. She and Neeners both volunteer at a cat shelter once a week, and in face last week we had our first foster kittens at home. She likes to spend her time playing video games, reading, playing with her sister and waiting for it to get warm.

Neeners is in 1st grade. She and Morella both got student of the month this year. Her swimming is coming along — I believe if she fell in the deep end she would be able to save herself, but she isn’t done yet. She volunteers with cats and said she might try piano but balks at the nightly practice that comes along with it. She loves playing with tactile things, playing with her sister, reading outloud and wrestling.

Tim still works his job. He goes and does archery every now and then. Still runs a weekly game night. Takes the kids to the cat shelter. Walks the kids to and from school every day, makes sure we all have clean clothes, and usually takes out the garbage and recycling.

Pets — we lost Arkham in October from cancer. His sister is now deaf and going blind and isn’t far behind – but she seems content and happy. Migo still suffers from thyroid and started to refuse taking any medication. So who knows how long either of them have? Falkor is great. He goes on almost daily walks with Tim to get the kids and adores all the attention he gets from the schoolchildren at the end of the day. We have two fish — one a carnival fish Neeners won this past summer and the other a beta fish that she conned out of Tim. Tim has a bunch of madacasar cockroaches to keep him company in his basement office.

Overall we are happy. That is a good start I think.

Getting Names, Handiwork and Graduating

It’s been a busy couple of months. I spent a good month working on making a traditional Ho Chunk Applique outfit. It was a big learning curve, but I think overall I learned quite a bit and the first attempt isn’t too shabby. I wore it to the MATC Powwow with the girls, who were wearing their more casual outfits. I had made Morella’s outfit in an afternoon (which is a huge decrease in the hours I spent learning how to make them). There are still some elements I would like to learn — like how to make a traditional hair tie with bead weaving, and a yarn belt. But I need to find teachers for both of those things. My shirt is also a little too big, but hey better big and comfy than not. Besides, these things go large. ;)



Another big thing was that Neeners graduated from the All City Native American and Alaska Indian graduation ceremony for kindergarten. It was held at the new Gordon Commons at the University and was a nice little ceremony. I was super proud of Neeners for holding herself up well.


But perhaps the biggest and best news, is that this past weekend we finally got the girls Ho-Chunk names! It was quite a journey to get there, and required 16 chickens, a lot of smokes, missed opportunities, waiting, meeting people, making the clothes and …well we did it. I am so proud of Morella aka Heexsgainga – White Swan and Neeners aka Heexinkga – Young Swan. They will need that little bit of a leg up as they navigate the native world and eventually comes to terms with their identity. AHhhh! I am still so happy we did it. It’s done, it’s DONE!



I got up and got the kids ready for school. I was exhausted, only getting 7 hours of sleep. I promised myself that as soon as the kids were out the door that I would go back to sleep. I carefully pulled the covers back up to retain the warmth for a night’s sleep as a promise to myself. I slept for a great two hours, and woke up around 10:00. I had thought that might attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ho-Chunk Branch office to be built over by a hotel on the outside of Madison heading to McFarland. I had a cup of coffee and convinced myself that I would indeed go. After all, I am Ho-Chunk, I live in Madison and I was invited. I got dressed, brushed my hair and even applied a little make up. There are a group of women who like to think that they run the Madison area, and they were largely responsible for heading up this project. I knew that showing up would earn me a couple side-eyed glances and muttered “Where was she before this?” and “She probably came for the cake.” But I didn’t let that deter me. With my head held high and hiding behind an oversized pair of sunglasses I stepped onto the soggy ground and headed to the tent.

There were tables with plastic tablecloths fluttering in the wind, and off to the side 10 shovels painted gold were sticking up out of the ground. On top of each shovel was a pristine white construction helmet. Clearly these were ceremonial shovels intended as a token of the promise of construction to come.

The sun was shining and aesthetically pleasing clouds drifted across the sky. The beltline in the distance rumbled with traffic and a surprising number of area and out of area Ho-Chunks arrived to witness this ground breaking ceremony. For the first time in history, the Madison area was about to get a community building that did not require land lord rules, regulations and payments. This is a space where the area people could meet for celebrations, funerals, language, youth activities, food preparation for elders, general meetings and other reason that could arise. Here we could play our drums at any time and as loud as we can get them, burn anything we wanted, and have a place to call our own as we try to build up the social aspect of a community. Perhaps here, we could also start to receive some of the benefits enjoyed by other Ho-Chunks in the state.

I expected to see a few familiar faces, but didn’t hold my breath when it came to talking with anyone. I have tried very hard over the last decade to get over feeling inadequate and like I don’t belong when showing up to native events. I used to think that when I did go to an event that all the other natives knew each other — every single one. That the all shared a story, a joke or were part of a larger family. But over time, as I go I began to realize that isn’t the case. Those that do show up, do know another person or two but the whole community at large? Not so much. It is that glimmer of understanding that encouraged me to keep going, to keep attending things as I am able to and while I may not say anything, I am there. I am seen.

I was pleased by the end that I did get a chance to talk with several people. I got to learn about some of the Ho-Chunk educational initiatives set into motion such as high education counseling for students entering college, in college and after college. I heard about more in depth student follow up to understand why some students succeeded and the obstacles they confront in finishing their education. I also had a great conversation with how the National JOM conference went and the topics they covered over the past week in Portland, OR. I talked with another about the future of Black Ash trees (essential in making baskets) as the Ash Borer Beetle wipes out the tree. Apparently it is had not deterred those who have made the effort to learn this ancient Ho-Chunk tradition and that the wood, once harvested and pounded can be kept for many years without losing its properties. I heard that some are even looking into cold water preservation of the wood, and an example was cited of logs that had been cut down nearly a century prior and sunk into cold up north water to settle amidst the silt, only to be pulled up later and survive in near perfect condition. Lastly, there is an acceptance that all the trees will be wiped out and that there are seed banks for planting when the epidemic ends. There are folks who are working on hybrid seeds in areas where the trees have grown some immunity to the beetles and then planting these resistant trees in the future.

I was also able to throw in a request to find someone who could teach me how to do a traditional bead weaving technique the Ho-Chunk use in hair tie accessories. I commented that I would even be willing to drive some distance to learn this technique, promised I would be a quick study and even trade in some kind of knowledge. Thought at this point, I am unsure of what kind of knowledge trade there would be.

I was commenting to someone the other day that I if anyone ever asked me to teach them how to do some craft, that I would be happy to do it. I can only imagine that my feeling on wanting to teach something to someone who genuinely wants to learn is shared. All one has to do is ask.

Spring Break

I just finished Spring Break with my little darlings. Husband and I decided not to go anywhere for Spring Break. A large part of it is that it was still cold and the landscape of everything is still brown, dark brown, grey and lifeless. A landscape of bleakness that is the real backdrop for an apocalyptic distopian story. But when you get away from the broad view and zoom in closer you notice that there are nice things about staying home and enjoying spring. Thankfully, it was actually a warm, sunny week. Highlights with the kids included:

–A playdate at the zoo and parks with a similar aged friend

–A sleepover with the neighbor girls, fun included trashing the house, watching the new Tinkerbelle movie, going for a bike ride, sleeping in the basement and enjoying uninterrupted hours of company.

–A house visit to a friend and her kids with only Morella.

–Lots of ipad and TV time spent, also coloring, cutting paper, reading books and playing with toys, stuffies, inventions, etc.

–Lots of outside playing time in the backyard, digging, riding scooters, and building nature things

–Dinner company with two families

–Hosted an Easter Egg Hunt Brunch that was exactly as it is described but also fun and all were happy.

–I competed in a fitbit workweek challenge and at the highest got 45,013 steps in a single day. My competition was fierce and I was continually surprised at just how competitive they were, and as a result me. I won by the way. ;) Through sheer stubbornness.

–A trip to Milwaukee to visit extended family

–And on bonus day of spring break (yesterday) in which I sent the kids to school and discovered when they got there that there was no school. It was like giving the kids a snow day without the snow.

Now that spring break is over and I have caught up on my sleep again, I feel motivated to attack some of the things I have been working on: writing, drawing, sewing and reading.

I had a pretty good day yesterday. I went back to sleep after the girls went off to school and woke up at 11.20 with a sleep headache. I drank coffee, read the internet and tried to get my bearings. Eventually I texted a friend who had reached out to me after a year or so and went over to visit her. She has two young children and one of the boys, in the prime of showing up, was literally jumping up and down waving his arms and singing in front of me at one point to get my attention. I laughed on the inside. After that I figured I was in my car so I would drop off a water bottle my friend Lowen had left the night before from Easter shopping. I stayed and visited for about 40 minutes and insisted I needed a banana to eat. I hadn’t eaten lunch and was quite hungry by then. I explained that if I actually went and ate a really late lunch I wouldn’t have the motivation to make dinner in a timely manner. And of course her boy picked up where the other one had left off and resumed showing off. Oh dear, kids. I can’t remember if my own kids did that much showing off when they were around 4. I think mostly they just went off and played together. That is one huge benefit of having kids so close in age.

After that I went home and walked directly to the school from the car. I was really underdressed for how cold it was and wished I had gone inside to get something warmer. This cold snap really sucks. I got the kids home despite pokey Neeners and set the girls up with a snack and some TV. I tried to get them to go to the grocery store with me and promised it would be an exciting adventure and that we could even go to the fancy grocery store. Morella said no and Neeners splayed out on the couch and replied “I am too exhausted from doing all the stuff.” She signed and melted further into the pillows. Resigned, I went to the boring, cost effective grocery store by myself.

While I was there and in the condiment aisle buying jugs of vinegar a man hurried past me pushing his cart. He headed towards a middle aged woman and said, rather breathlessly “Hey!”

She looked at him, smiled and say “Hey!”
“So, wow! It’s been a long time,” he said.
“Yes it has,” she agreed.
“So,” he paused. “How you been doing with what you have been doing?”
“Oh, you know,” she laughed. “It’s been going.”

At that point I laughed, probably too loud while bending to pick up vinegar and hide my face.

“I didn’t know you lived on the east side,” he stated.”
“Yeah,” she answered. “I live here.”

It was clear that these two didn’t remember each others name or profession. I imagined that maybe they worked at the same place and probably said Hi to each other at the coffee station or photo copy machine. At that point I left, but chuckled as echos of their awkward conversation followed me into the cereal aisle.

Anyway. Today I did not go back to sleep and have spent the morning drinking coffee and writing my thoughts out in journals in an effort to coral them. We have company over tonight and I started the pot roast in the crock pot. We are out of onion or savory soup/spice mixes so I had to wing it. I am sure it will be fine. You can’t really mess up expensive chunks of meat when you throw in worchester sauce, tomato paste and spices. I also threw in a cut up onion and garlic for added flavor. I think I am going to roast the vegetables later to accompany it. I was also contemplating making a rhubarb pie with frozen rhubarb I have in the freezer. I think it is only a year old? That should be fine. Sugar fixes everything!

Winter Update

Oh I fell victim to the yearly winter slum. It turned to spring this weekend and of course it immediately snowed with one of the more significant snowfalls this year. Which isn’t to say much, considering it is only 2-3 inches. It was enough, however to bring dismay to the girls faces when they left for school this morning. IF this snowfall had come a month ago, or heck even in December – they would have been thrilled!

I have spent the last two months reading and watching extensive amount of netflix — particularly the Gilmore Girls, which was recommended to me by a friend. There is something quite soothing about just sitting down or turning an ongoing story on your ipad and going about your daily business. Since February was the coldest on record, I didn’t feel like going anywhere. Let’s see, my outings since February:

–Tim and I went to Comic Con, got a t-shirt and a power up star bumpersticker for the car and was home with 15 minutes left on our babysitter clock. We got kinda bored.

–I have seen: Into the Woods, Jupiter Ascending, Chappie, Cinderella and Strange Magic at the theatre (the last two with kids)

–School functions like PTO meetings, boxtop counting, school dance, movie night, Read your Heart out, research gallery, parent/teacher conferences and spring jazz concert.

–Native functions like Title 7 meeting, JOM meetings, Ho-Chunk meeting, language classes and this week a dance demonstration I am looking forward to.

–Bookclub. Reading those books and getting together to talk about it. Books were: Something Borrowed and that Lena Dunham book that I hated. This month the book is the Rise and Fall of James Cook.

–Chaperon kid functions: swimming lessons, drama lessons and skating lessons, and just recently we joined a non secular, co-ed scouting group called Navigators.

–We did go ice skating several times as a family and sledding twice. I also took the girls on a Cosmopolitan Day to down town to see the UW Geology Museum, followed by a visit to the Chazen Museum of Art, then lunch at Chipolte and then downtown shopping with a break for blowing bubbles in the small parks and buying smoothies from my old college smoothie cart. It was such a good day.

–Social things: like an Oscar Party, meetings friends for coffee and fries, went out for Mardi gras to listen to classic jazz music and also played darts. Most significant (and I attribute this to ridiculous amounts of Gilmore girls) is that we started to invite people over for dinner. So far we have had three dinner dates and have a list in our head of other people we would like to invite. It’s exciting to bring back this old form of socializing and the kids seem to be enjoying it as well.

–Hobby things: All in all I mostly didn’t feel like doing anything. That said I have kept to my new years resolution of learning to draw and after several attempts with poor quality books at home, internet research and noodling, I bought the Learn to Draw in 30 Days and have been working on that. My drawing of 3-D objects has improved magnificently! It is really a great book, easy to understand and makes sense. The other main project aside from a few key chains, which is my go to project is to finally undertake making my own traditional applique outfit. I have been wanting to make one for years and years and always found a good reason not to start. Finally I sat down with a note book, made a pros and cons list, started writing research, ideas and got started. I am not far, I have my designs made and cut out and sewed the front two panels. I have the large bottom panel and two more side panels to make before figuring out how to sew them all together. There are a dozen imperfections, but Tim has been wonderful in making sure that I don’t quit because of my own perceptions of it. Aside from the thousands of mistakes (in my perfectionist eye) the hardest obstacle to overcome is that I am working on all this effort for a product that will only benefit me in the short term run. Sure the girls might use the outfit when they are teenagers or adults, but that isn’t for a super long time! I am going to make my dream outfit and it’s so weird to devote that much time to … just me.

Okay, I gotta get the girls from school, get them snacked, clean up the basement for Tim’s game night, take the girls to swim class and bail on the Navigator hike because it is cold, wet and the girls will still have wet hair from swim and I don’t know if they will be up for it. I guess I should give them the option — but personally I am not thrilled with the idea of potentially carrying Neeners because she is “tired of walking and cold.” Lugging around a 5 1/2 year old is much harder than when she was younger.

Cleaning up

So yeah. Yesterday was meh. I slept in after the girls went to school until 12:05! My goodness, I made it to the afternoon. I didn’t feel like crap when I woke up so I must have needed it. I admit that I have been very tired almost every afternoon for a couple weeks. I thought maybe my iron is low, so I decided to doctor myself and get some supplements to see if that would help. Anyway, after that I picked up the kids from school, then cleaned up a tad and got their swimming stuff ready. I packed the car, cleaned out the back and put in a booster seat and then picked up my neighbor who’s son is taking lessons at the same time. Might as well car pool! You are welcome, environment.

The rest of the day was alright. Tim made dinner of omelets and eggs and then went downstairs for his weekly game night. I watched a little TV with the kids and tried to get Morella to read, but she wasn’t in the mood. She kept complaining of sore, tired muscles that have no energy. I explained to her that she was sore from a very active weekend. I gave her some tylenol anyway so she would would stop complaining. Probably not the best use of it, but hey — I would probably do the same if I were an adult and as sore as she was feeling. Then we looked around the house for a good chapter book and settled on the Chronicles of Narnia. I have the complete set in one book, so we started with the Magician’s Nephew. She loves it so far, and Neeners has the attention of a 5 year old gnat. Geez.

I had a terrible night sleep and eventually moved to the couch to get some shut eye around 4. When the alarm clock went off I got up and breakfasted the kids (tea, oatmeal and fruit), helped them get dressed and sent them on their way. Instead of going back to bed, despite tiredness, I looked at the internet, drank coffee, wrote in my journal, wrote three folks cards and then showered and got dressed. I figured I was on a roll, so I decided to work on cleaning up and organizing the family office and listen to music. I even got inspired enough to frame and hang five pictures! Go me! While I was cleaning, I found two tattered notebooks at the bottom of a shelf and covered with dust. I cleaned them off and expected that they were old college notes and I was about to throw them out when I opened it to a page. It turns out I kept journals in those two notebooks! It is mostly Morella’s first and second year! Awesome! I put them with my other journals.

The entry for 2009 for this date said I that I posted on my blog. I felt a tad guilty that 2015 Hadjare doesn’t post as much, so I thought I would throw this on here.

I have been reading a lot and thinking more about writing and my new years resolution to learn how to draw. I haven’t done much of the latter, but I have been writing more. Even though I know blogs are a relic of the internet past, this started back then and I should just keep it going. I have been blogging for what…like 16 years now. That’s awesome.

Midmonth update

Hey look, two posts in one month so far, not to shabby huh?

The month is going pretty well. I still feel the effects of how awesome it is to not be sick and that just makes life so much sweeter. Neeners had a sick day yesterday after barfing at school on Wednesday, out of the blue. It seemed to have been a 24 hour bug, and one I hope none of us catch. Updates…. Hm. OH I won a “Major prize.” I threw my name in a bag last weekend while buying a gift card at a local baby boutique for her baby shower. It said “Win a Class!” So I threw in my name and checked off several boxes to increase my odds for a viable class that one of the girls would take. I understood it to be a a single class, for a single girl — you know sort of like a demo. Well on Monday morning I got a call that I was a big winner! I was excited because I hardly ever win anything good. The last time was a basket of crappy, half broken angel stuff from a bag lottery I accidentally must have put a ticket in. Long story short, it is actually a series of classes for both girls! Holy cow! How exciting. I choose Drama over hip hop because I think the girls would love it, and they already know quite a bit of fun drama techniques, even though they don’t know it. The only caveat is that it is on Wednesday, the same day as their 8 week course in beginning skating.

So, I felt like an over scheduling Mom, but realized this was a great opportunity, it is not forever and it isn’t something we normally do. Plus, it’s winter and a little extra fun stuff will make it fly by a bit faster. So for a few weeks I could brag that my kids are taking swim, skating and drama. I worried about feeding them enough food and getting from class to class, except I didn’t have to worry that much because it was just Morella flying solo. It worked out and I think, provided I have enough snacks and an afternoon tea set up for after school that I can do this.

Regarding the house, it is slowly resembling an abode that a family who is picks up after themselves might live in. It helps that I am not sick, that the girls are in school and don’t have a chance to mess it up, they have activities and that we have been playing Mario Kart. Say what you will about video games, they are mess free. I am also hosting a clothing swap on Sunday so that has been extra motivation to go through things and will be a great opportunity to get rid of stuff. It will be nice to have all of my bedroom back after Monday when I drop off the remaining stuff to the local thrift shop.

Yesterday I accompanied Tim to a vendor appreciation party downtown and it was easily one of the most awkward parties ever. I was the only female with 17 men. Women really need to get into technology more! We left the party and lame food and headed over to the Chocolatarian for a French Hot Chocolate, which was easily the most amazing hot chocolate either of us have ever had. I am already plotting reasons for going there in the future. Earlier I had a wonderful lunch date with a neighbor friend and okayish indian food at a buffet. I felt incredible social.

Tomorrow we are headed to Milwaukee for a birthday party for the nephew. I know the girls look forward to having cousin time. Sometimes I wish they could see each other more, and I know Milwaukee isn’t that far….but you know how it is.

Looking to the future I am thinking of taking the girls ice skating on Monday since they have the day off, and then to swim class. Then on Friday they have early release at 11:30. I plan on picking them up and then going out for my annual brunch at the Original Pancake House and then take them to the movies. After that a baby sitter will descend on the house and we will head over to Sardine for Tim’s holiday party. What an exciting day that will be! Next Saturday I am co hosting a JOM event with Title 7 at the Goodman Center. It also happens to be my birthday, but I am okay with that.

I also plan to attend the Fire Ball with my friend Lowen and after that going to Comic Con with Tim. I would like to work in a trip to Chicago….maybe over spring break. Then we could see the Shedd Aquarium AND the Field Museum, and visit long lost friends.

My big birthday present to myself was to get my car detailed and cleaned. Oh my gosh it is heavenly. Just incredible to have a clean smelling, soft feeling, sparkly clean car inside. It is like a present to myself every time I get in the car. Wow.

Oh and there is a book club coming up….I am almost done with the book this month by Lena Dunham. It’s okay.

Apparently the coffee is working, as this post is all over the place.

Happy New Year!

Ahh, 2015, and so far it’s been awesome. Mostly because I was sick for a long time. I got the flu on Dec. 15, a couple days after Neeners recovered from her bout with the flu. It was horrible! I had a wretched headache, fever and exhaustion and for two days I barely moved. Thank goodness Tim works from home and was able to take the girls to school and pick them up. After the flu was over it quickly morphed into a sinus infection that was slowly become pneumonia before I finally called the doctor. I got a prescription for a z-pak. I had hoped that a dose and half would make enough of a difference to be able to taste or smell New Year’s Eve dinner … but it didn’t. However I did feel marginally better. Enough to dance a bit with the kids to the televised new year’s party. We made our own homemade confetti out of tissue paper, had crab, cheddar bay biscuits, corn on the cob, and cheese cake (which is was sorry not to taste), stayed up till 10 and had a countdown complete with party poppers. It was amazing! It was the first NYE that I have spent home since 2002, and it was by far one of the top three.

That said it was important for me to not let being sick ruin all the fun and magic for the kids — I forced myself to send out Christmas cards with our annual letter, finish christmas shopping, wrap presents, take the kids to Shane’s for two days and a night, walk in a winter wonderland, attend a party in Green Bay and go onto Door County at the Foxglove Inn to visit the girls Aunt Kelly. We had a wonderful night there. Kelly made a fire in her wood stove and we roasted marshmallows over the fire and watched Maleficent. It was the girls first time ever watching a live action, not animated movie, especially in the fantasy genre. Morella absolutely loved it, as I knew she would. Neeners got bored after awhile. She usually more interested in climbing things and people after awhile.

It is really cold outside. Frigid. Most schools around us closed for the day, but Madison is known for it’s die hard dedication to students education and so our kids persevered. I bundled them extra good for their 4 1/2 block walk to school. I was a teeny bit disappointed they had school, but have since spent it mostly on the couch having a Grim marathon, and getting things done. I don’t know if you believe this, but I find it very difficult to reply to emails, voice mail, make phone calls and plan things. I just sort of let it sit and simmer until I can’t take the guilt anymore and do it all once.

One of the things was finding out I needed to renew my domain. So I thought about it and did for another three years. I figured I would celebrate by posting since I paid for the privilege to do so on my own domain.

Otherwise, everyone is actually healthy. School is as good as it gets. Swim is now on Monday and tonight the girls start Ice Skating Lessons. I even made a dinner they won’t touch with a 10 foot pole (Chili) to eat before we go. I was just going to make Johhny Cakes to go with it, and assume that they would eat that and maybe some fruit salad. I am excited for skating lessons and the girls to get a handle on it. I am excited for going out for family skates at Olbrich and other parks in the future, or at the very least next year. Lessons are for 8 weeks and the hope is that once they get it, they will love it and want to go out more.

Well, I need to eat some nuts now and watch more Grim before I have to get dressed to get the girls from school. Actually, I don’t have to get dressed. I am wearing snow pants and my artic coat and what not so I can just wear that over my jammies. Pretty much like I did yesterday.

Short Day

Well, as a little update Morella did great with her cavity. Tim took her and she was a brave little toaster and excelled at having her teeth drilled.

Meanwhile I noticed that Neeners was squinting at the TV after school. I observed this for several days and then decided to wait until her doctor appointment to get it all checked out. She was great at her doctor appointment and is exactly average. She is currently 43 inches tall and is projected to reach a height of 5’4″ to 5’5″ as an adult. :( Of course I am disappointed at this shorty news, and that her sister will always be taller — but so many of her daddy’s womenfolk are short. Ugh. Anyway. In her eye screen she would start doing acrobatics and squinting when using her left eye and looking at 4 rows up from the bottom. I decided then to take her to the eye doctor to get a real exam.

Fast forward to this past Monday and we headed over to Shopko for an eye exam. I discovered that her eye exam is covered by insurance and then immediately felt incredible stupid for all those years that Tim and I have gone and said we didn’t have insurance. We could have saved over a $1000 if we had just thought to freaking ask. Lesson learned. Neeners, did great! She even got a picture of her eye ball taken for base eye health (which is apparently difficult to get from a 5 year old).


No glasses for Neen Bean. Afterward I bought her a magic 8 ball for all her fantastic work. I also let her pick out a birthday present for Morella — she got her a cotton candy maker (50% off too — my little saver).

Last weekend we went to the Great Wolf Lodge for a repeat birthday adventure for my husband. We had gone last year and it made such an impression on the girls that we repeated the experience. They loved it just as much this year, possibly more. Morella became a thrill seeker over the past year and pushed us grown ups to our water sliding limits. Let’s just say that we did the Tornado ride and for the first time in my life I screamed because I was scared. Oh my god — it was terrifying. Morella thought it was fun and wanted to go again right away. I told her to ask her Daddy since I am sure he wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun. He screamed too. After tiring ourselves out at the water park, we ate some Noodles and then hit Magic Quest — an actually did most of the quests! Next year we should be able to go straight to the dragon and then start Shadow Quest.

Oh here is a picture of the girls with Violet the Wolf. Neeners still loves Violet.


It was a great birthday weekend. This weekend is Morella’s birthday party. We are having a pool party at the place she swims at. Morella also wanted brownies and pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake, and subway instead of pizza. I think the latter is a refreshing change of pace. I am not really feeling the elaborate pintrest style party theme this year–and am just going with the pool as theme enough. The party is also too big to really get into it. I am looking forward to the 7 guests and under parties where you can really dig into the details.

I took the girls to a craft fair at Olbrich two weeks ago and we went outside to wander the gardens and look at all the empty pools.