Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ShamWOW Wedensday...

It's like a chamois, a towel, a sponge!  Use it wet or dry.......You'll say WOW everytime!  Come on people this is genius!  And that weird, scrawny looking guy who does the infomercial?  Where do they find these freakshows?  AND it's made in Germany.  They clearly state it underneath a little German flag on the "official" ShamWow website.  As if that is going to make us want it more.  "You know those German's are some smart buggers..." 

On vacation I like to carry on a little tradition similiar to David Letterman's Top Ten Lists.  However, I sometimes have more or less than 10 items on the list and the items don't relate to one another.....they are just a random spattering of things we say on the trip or I think are funny.  (Other people who are on the trip with me don't really get a say with what goes on the list since I'm the one who remembers to write the list, save them from year to year in a safe place and occasionally pull them out and rehash the funnies)  I've been doing this list thing for over 10 years now.  It makes for good fun.  Really....

So this year our friends Tom and Kelly brought ShamWows with on the trip.  WELL WELL WELL.  It instantly became the trip joke and therefore HAD to be on the list.  We shouted "ShamWOW" anytime we felt excitement about, well, WE JUST SAID IT FOR FUN ANYTIME WE FELT LIKE IT.  And I loved every shouting SHAMWOW second of the trip!!!!!  (and for the record, the product is really cool and works exactly as shown......I want some of my own.  Costco baby.)

And since I'm in one "shamWOW" kind of a mood tonight (sarcasm) "I DO DECLARE" today to be ShamWow Wednesday.  You can view the entire infomercial here for more fun and excitement.  If you say "I do declare" in a Southern accent it is way more fun. 

Yep, "I do declare" was on the list too!  Remember The Office episode where Michael plans a murder mystery event at Dunder-Mifflin to boost morale because the company is in a slump?  Michael said "I do declare" before he said anything.  And let me tell you friends, it is REALLY fun to do this on vacation while drinking!  Seriously.  Try it.  Don't knock me for being FUN.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blue cheese scallion drop bisuits...

I've had this recipe in my arsenal for a month or so.  I was so excited to make them.....mostly for the ease, as I am not a baker.  Something in the ingredients spoke to me yesterday so I made a stop-by the grocery store after swimming lessons today.  Well, much to my disappointment, I failed to taste the scallions or the blue cheese and was left YET AGAIN with a loathe for baking.  Now, Bengt said once again that I am nuts and they are delicious.  He said they were a touch salty.  Really?  Because other than the blue cheese saltiness, the recipe only called for a very small smidge of salt.  So!  I will leave it up to you to decide!  I am a person who loves to COOK (vs. BAKE) and then not really care to eat what I cooked or think it is all that good! (Weird I know!)  Give them a try...they are really easy (one bowl) and contain buttermilk! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Swedish Fest in Geneva, IL

$5.00 Funnel cake....Bengt loves them and like son!

$8.00 Ferris Wheel ride that Lauren LOVED....
Does anyone else feel
 these rides and the people
who run them are incredibly sketchy? 
I tried not to think about it as I stood below with Evan in the stroller hoping nothing tragic happened! 
(and I'm so not like that!)
What part of matching Dala Horse t-shirts is NOT cute?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drink Koozies!

Here she vacation BF and FFL (friend for life...just made that up) KELLY B!
We are proudly sportin' our new drink koozies!  Kelly's Aunt Nancy at Trout Lake kept saying they looked like some sort of sex toy??!!!!!  Kelly and I drive together with two kids and the guys take the other two and we joke the entire trip that if we don't look like lesbians than who does?  Of course with my sassy short hair, I'm the man in the realationship.....AHAHHAHAHAH  (By the way I heart lesbians so don't hate on me!)


Should I go fishing or go with the guys to shoot my gun?
Either way you have it, I'm prepared.

4 Shots...two in each arm!

Evan's trip to the pediatrician for his 18 month old check-up was not fun!  But overall, he recovered quickly and it's just a part of life.  He also slept for 4.5 hours thank you very much!  : ) 

Wonderful Wonder Lake!

A "friend with benefits" might be described
as one who has a Lake House! 
Please note Lauren floating and giving the peace sign!  Love it!

Craw-Dad Boil in the Northwoods..???? What?

Our friend Tom had the cool idea to have a craw-dad boil the first night of our Trout Lake trip.  It was ridicously fun and delicious!  He had all the craw-dads, shrimp and spicy sausage shipped in from  The photos show the fun....
Everyone kept joking that we were in the middle of the Northwoods of Minnesota, about an hour from the Canadian border and yet here we are....having a Louisiana craw-dad boil!!!!!!!!!!!  Love it! 

Let's not forget the baby red tates, corn, melted butter and Top the Tator!  (Top the Tator is a chive, onion sour cream that is delish and at some point in this eating fest I just would take a baby red, break it open with my hands and dip directly into the top the tator! Apparently you can only get it in Minnesota)  The next morning I told everyone I think I may have eaten more Top the Tator than anyone and where was the shrimp?  Cuz I didn't recall eating any!  Turns out we saved the shrimp for another night because we had so much food.  I didn't think I was that drunk!

Friday, June 25, 2010


This picture might adequately describe the various highs and lows of traveling with children....

Hello Friends!  I'm back from our family Trout Lake vacation (Grand Marais, MN) and look, it's a week since I've been home and imagine that....I'm in a wee bit of a "post vacation slump"...  Truth be told, I might like running around like a crazy person and not being home much.  All I need is a quick drive-by the house for laundry, re-coup, errands, etc. and then I'm ready to go again!  Being home too much just makes me want to re-decorate and find fault with my house.  (And really, it's wonderful........I have no reason to complain.  But doesn't everyone want a quick fix from Nate Berkus?  I've got good stuff to work with, I just need an outside eye to rearrange things)

I spent yesterday at my friend's "Lake House" but found that without a spouse along, all I did was chase Evan around.  (again, you are feeling so sorry for me right?)  I mean, people would enjoy just using the phrase "my friend's Lake House" but I actually get to spend time there and feel oh so cool. 

Trout Lake was the best year yet.  (this was year 3 and counting if we get invited back...hahaha)  We have gone from three to four kids in all stages and ages.  Our friends have survived diapers, bottles, play gyms, high chairs, crying, whining, tantrums, pouting, binkys and giving up the binky.....bless them! 

I cannot believe I found a human being on the planet that I get along with better than anyone.  AND she wants to vacation with my family?  Her husband Tom and my husband have been friends since grade school.  She was the icing to Tom's cake.  When our group of friends met her we instantly loved her.  I mean, I like her better than Tom now.  And when I say I get along with her better than anyone, I mean EVERYONE in my life......sister, mom, husband, other best friends.........seriously........Kelly just doesn't push one single button.  She just makes me laugh, likes to drink and eat with me, doesn't take anything too seriously and really does not bother me AT ALL.  Like you know when you have a friend that you adore but you realize at some point in your extended time together they will eventually start to bug you?  Or they have some small little thing that starts to irritate you?  Yeah, well Kelly doesn't have any of those!  I'm not sure if she feels the same way about me, but I don't think it matters.  My kids are a bit more irritating than hers are, but mine are still quite young.  We keep saying "next year will be even better...."  In five years we are sitting so pretty it will be a dream trip! 

So Evan got 4 shots today at his 18 month old check-up and it's Friday night and this is the life of a mom.  I'm itching for some away from kids time.  It's sad when I am looking forward to a PAP SMEAR because the kids will be with a sitter at home on Monday. 

This Fall Lauren will attend a new pre-school THREE FULL DAYS A WEEK PEOPLE!!!!!!!!  I might have some sort of a life back.  (because we all know when you have two kids, one kid is CAKE!)  All these stages and moods, growing up and my daughter just went over to the neighbors and rang the doorbell and asked if her friend could play.  She just figured out how to do this..........she didn't ask me.  She just did it.  I guess she is sick of being stuck inside the house for 4 hours per day while Evan naps.  (again, you are all soooooooooooo sorry for me right?)

Hey, remember......people have blogs so they can vent and complain and brag, and share sorrows.  Life is good.  Just working out the summer kinks!  : )

Grand Marais fog which prevented us from taking a really cool schooner ride...oh, year!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"I just called to say...."

Evan is obsessed with the telephone.  He perches it on his neck (no, not his ear!) and walks around saying "Hi."  He is fast too.  He can grab the phone and disappear in seconds!  He woke up from his nap, found the phone and went and sat himself down on the kids picnic table on the deck.  He acted like he was really having a conversation with someone.  Of course Lauren could not be left out.  She sees a camera and HAS to be in a picture.  Look at that mug with those baby gap teeth!  It's like he's saying "Call me!" 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mom is a Noun

Mom: (n) [syn: superhero] referee, chef, nurse, sanitary engineer, personal shopper, entertainter, advisor, mediator, chauffer

LOVE is a Verb...

Summer Shandy

Bengt's cousin Konrad has arrived from Sweden for the summer.  We introduced him to Summer Shandy in Lake Geneva on Saturday.  I'm not so sure he liked it, but he drank it! 

It's a Mom thing....

One of the things that we questioned while camping was how we could possibly get Evan to nap without being in a pack-n-play.  Well, it turns out he just ran around the tent like a crazy child until he literally passed out and we moved him to the "bed" (air mattress).  I'm not sure why, but when I peeked in the tent window to check on him I just started crying.  Look at his little shoulder blades and how big he is?  Now, while I don't wish for the infant stuff, I long to capture this little moment in time.  Not quite a baby anymore....a toddler who sometimes acts like he's 3.  I imagine him in his big-boy bed.  The crib is the last connection to "babyhood."  I also love how he's cuddled up with his sister's pink blankie and Strawberry Shortcake pillow!  Classic. 

I'm Back! Only to depart again....

Isn't this what summer is all about?  Lots of fun stuff on the calendar, things to look forward....housework and laundry and cooking are put on the backburner and the kids run around the yard long into the evening?  Love it!  Adventure #1 of the season was our first tenting/camping outing with Evan.  Evan who is 18 months old.  Yep.  Some say I'm crazy but I really did love it.  My motto last summer when we traveled to Trout Lake (Grand Marais, MN) was "We're making memories here people!"  That's really how I felt!  We were only an hour from my mom's house so if things got hairy we had an out.  Here are some fun pictures to prove we really did it!  We took Lauren camping when she was a baby, but not until she was about 2.5 years old.   (still rough!)  And, that might not even count because we had a big luxurious camper.  Tenting is hardcore! 

I seem to be getting flashes of the kids looking at these photos when they are older....(does that come with age?  I'm getting old you know!  39 big ones this  Or the slideshows that they have graduation parties or weddings........the ones that always make me cry even if I have never met the people!  These are the little gems that will later be placed in these!

Evan is now obsessed with "My First Truck Book" and I still find it hard to believe that these extreme genetic differences really exist!  This book got us through some rough patches camping.  The little guy needed to be "secured" or "contained" in the tent, highchair or stroller. 

Lauren continues to be a little photographer and I like to say she's got her mother's eye.  Here is a pic she took....

Now, that's what I call finding the beauty in the ordinary : )