Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Teeth

Milena has two teeth now. By the amount of crying and general unhappiness in the house, I believe more must be on their way. Thankfully, Tylenol and Claire do wonders. When Claire gets home at 3:15, Milena is like a different kid, laughing and smiling. Its almost enough to go to school and pull Claire out early. Almost.

Father's Day and a Sunset

We had a great Father's Day.  Claire put on a piano recital for the family, and despite all her nerves beforehand, it went great.  She planned decorations, appetizers and a lunch, and she collected admission.  $2 each, with all proceeds being donated to the Sun Prairie Public Library.  Her summer goal is to raise $150 and get one of those brick tiles with her name on it for the sidewalk in front of the library.  I think its a pretty awesome summer goal.  So another recital is in the works for August, hopefully, and she's also planning a few lemonade stands and doing a bunch of work over at Jim and Teresa's to raise the money.

After the recital and lunch, my dad and Jim figured both sides of our patio doors should be able to open, even though since the first day we walked through the house during a showing, the left side remained jammed shut.  But they figured they could fix it, and sure enough, now we can open AND lock both doors.  It makes such a difference.  I have some simple plans to make the sunporch usable for more time during the year, including a floor and some insulation, and having both doors swing wide open is so much nicer.

On Father's Day itself, Claire asked Mike what he wanted to do.  He said, jokingly, 'bungee jumping'.  Claire was under the impression that bungee jumping meant going to the mall and jumping super high on a big air mattress with bungee cords strapped to you.  She's done that before and loved it.  So she was all in for bungee jumping on Father's Day.  Mike obviously meant the real bungee jumping.  I showed Claire a video, and she quickly decided she would not go after all.  However, her nagging up to that point pushed the idea from joke to reality, and we took a quick trip to Wisconsin Dells.  After we got there, we saw that there was bungee jumping, and then there was  SUPER AWESOME FREE FALL EXTRAVAGANZA AWESOMENESS!!  Obviously Mike chose the latter.  So he got on an elevator and went up twice as far as the silly little bungee jumping crane was.  Then the floor dropped out, he dangled out of the hole on a harness.  They cut him free and he free-fell something like 110 feet into a big net.  He enjoyed it very much and it was really fun to watch.  From the ground.  Where all the sane people were.

Then we got to see two-headed turtles and Claire got to hold a real live alligator.  The end.  Some things you can only in Wisconsin Dells.  I guess we set the bar pretty high for next year.

Oh, and earlier in the week, we were treated to an incredible sunset.  I've never seen the sky so bright before.  Claire actually woke up and thought the sky was on fire.  The first picture is right from our driveway.  Then I got in the car and drove around until I could see more.  I haven't done anything to these pictures, if anything, the color was even more saturated in person.  We had a great sunset-watching spot in Maine.  We have to find one here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


So as I said, we were in Ironwood for a few days this weekend.  Mike's Aunt Susie passed away and we went to attend the funeral.  Not anyone's favorite reason to have a reunion, but it was nice to see the the whole family again.

Mike had a few days off, so we decided to stretch the trip out a bit.  We stayed at a great chalet at Powderhorn.  Being the off season, we got a fantastic deal that was better than most hotels in the area.  And having separate rooms for the kids to sleep in is as good as it gets.  Especially when the alternative is putting the kids to bed 3 feet away and then watching the TV on mute for a few hours.  The chalet worked out so well, I'm trying to figure out a way we can get back this summer for a little longer visit.  I want to get over to the Porcupine Mountains.  Actually, there are several places in Upper Michigan I'd like to get to, and its going to take a few trips, but Ironwood is a great start.

Since it rained all day Friday, we only had Saturday morning to get to the cabin before heading home.  Luckily, the rain held off while we were there.  I think one of my favorite parts of the cabin is the getting there.  The directions are always the same no matter where you are coming from.  Follow the signs for the airport, and then keep going.  Go to the end of that road and turn right.  Drive down that road for a while and then turn left immediately after the sign that says something about a scenic place (of which there are several).  Then set your odometer and turn right on whatever most looks like tire tracks in exactly 1.2 miles  Or maybe 0.9 miles.  There is always a good amount of second guessing, but we always seem to make it on the first try.   It is really nice to see the cabin come into view.

The cabin looks great.  Its clear that a lot of work has gone into cleaning it up this spring.  I think Claire has been out there once before several years ago, but she remembered it as she walked around.  Actually, she was pretty disappointed we couldn't stay a night or two.  Maybe she'll be planning trips there with her own friends in ten or twelve years.  

Another of my favorite parts of the cabin is how it smells.  Obviously the fresh air outside is wonderful, but the inside has such a distinct smell, one of those scents that is tied to memories.  One of Claire's favorite parts is a new addition, or new to me anyway.  The tire swing.  She had a lot of fun swinging out over the ravine.

We finally made it down to the beach.  We collected a lot of rocks and threw a lot of them into the water.  We explored up and down the beach a little bit.  We sat and listened to the waves.   Some of us ended up with wet shoes.

It was a quick visit, but a good one.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Cabin

This weekend we made a trip to Ironwood.  I have to say, I had my reservations about taking our Lumina on such a long trip.  Don't get me wrong, its a very reliable car and has never left us stranded, but it is getting up there in age and miles.  Milena often will say 'aaaaaaaahhhhhh' for long stretches of time when we are on the highway because the ride is rough enough that she likes how her voice sounds.  And Mike steers with his knees because his hands go numb after holding on to the steering wheel for too long.  But it was fine.  We even took it out to the cabin.  It was pretty easy getting in, but it had rained all weekend and I was more than a little concerned getting back out would be a problem.  But that was fine too.  It was a quick visit, but enough time to get inside the cabin, take a few swings on the new Pendulum Swing and collect some rocks.  Claire is an awesome rock collector.  She really has an eye for picking out the cool ones.  Milena is the opposite.  I believe it was her goal to lick and then throw all the rocks on the beach, one by one.   

They must have tasted awful, judging by her face after each lick, but she carried on.

Over and over, until Claire stepped in and even still, she tried to lick rocks.  

It was really nice to see the cabin again.  It was even nicer to hear Claire say how much she liked it.

I have a lot of other pictures that I'll probably post later, but I thought these were fun right away.