Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Soon-to-be homeowners!

So, good news! Our offer was accepted and by June 25th we should be official homeowners! Hooray! We are really excited! Even though we found out during our home inspection last night that we are pretty much going to have to gut the entire basement, we are still excited! So, for any of you interested in seeing all of the pictures, they can be found here.

Bear in mind, it is a foreclosure and we will be doing some work :) Like, for example, moving the freaking water softener out of the family room in the basement--seriously? Yes, it is right next to the fireplace, not in a closet or anything. Some people....

Anyways, we are excited to have our own place and put in a little (lot) of elbow grease and make it even better. It's 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath and about 1460 square feet, so pretty modest, but we think it will be great for us and our crazy boys!

Anyways, so the last few days we have been here in Minneapolis again getting things done. We heard that we were going to have our home inspection about 4 hours before it started, and just my luck Ken and Kelly were both busy that night. The prospect of taking the boys with us wasn't pretty, so I called the one other soul I know in the twin cities--my friend Maria from MBA school. Let me just say, she is a SAINT! She took our boys for 2 and a half hours all by herself. She had her carpets cleaned that afternoon and STILL agreed to take them--now that is brave! Her apartment complex had its own theater complete with popcorn maker, so let's just say Ryan was in heaven. Anyways, I really doubt Maria reads this blog, but just in case you do, Maria, YOU ARE SERIOUSLY MY HERO!

A few days ago the weather was nice here and the boys were in a good mood, so I decided to turn on the sprinkler and see how they liked it. Calvin the Brave, of course, was not happy about it. He cried until I turned it off. Ryan was excited for a few seconds and then started begging me to turn it off because it was cold. I tried my hardest to get him to jump through it, but to no avail. So, we resorted to blowing puffballs in the back yard, which Ryan loved. Go figure.

Here's Ryan, thoroughly enjoying that first few seconds of the sprinkler being on:

And even more thoroughly enjoying his puffball:

And here's Ryan showing Calvin the puffball-blowing ropes:

My personal favorite--it took Calvin a while to warm up to the puffballs, and apparently Ryan got bored waiting for him:

Here's Calvin finally coming around:

Love this picture of my little man:

Saturday, May 23, 2009


So the other day my brother in law James took Ryan outside to play with bubbles and oh my, did he have fun! I had to bring Calvin out and grab my camera and document the experience. If you don't want to see a million pictures then first of all you shouldn't be reading my blog anyways and second of all you can just skip the rest of this post. I have way too hard of a time leaving good pictures off so I usually just post all of the ones I like. This time I got rid of 5 of the 22 I was going to post, so I was pretty proud. Anyways, here they are:

Just look at the intensity here. Ryan was taking these bubbles very seriously.

James would blow these big giant bubbles and Ryan would do his best to chase them down.

He was really having a blast.

I really like this one. He is just about to whack that bubble with his yellow thing.

Getting tickled by James, who was really covered in bubble soap by the end.

James giving me a cool, aloof look through his awesome bubble wand.

Here Ryan is showing Calvin the ropes.

What a surprise! Calvin has a confused/grumpy look on his face! Oh wait, never mind, that's not surprising. It's his trademark look.

Michael calls this the baby Zen pose.

I love this one. Calvin and his bubble butt.

Oooooh, a smile! What is it, Christmas?

He really does like being outside on the grass, though. When Ryan was Calvin's age he was not a huge fan.

I don't know why I love this one so much. Maybe it's the monkey arm pose.

This one just makes me laugh. Brotherly love.

Ryan sure loves his uncle James.

Thanks for the great idea James! Ryan loved being out there spending time with you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Waiting waiting waiting

So, we have an offer in on a house! I mean we have an offer in on another house! I mean, we have an offer in on another house, again!

House hunting is not all it's cracked up to be. I actually really like going to look at houses, so that part is still fun, but the actual process of trying to make a house I like belong to me really bites. Although that is probably at least in part due to the fact that we are looking at foreclosures. We are on a pretty tight budget and would rather have a real house than a townhome or condo, so that leaves us with only foreclosures in our price range. But, believe it or not, some of them are really great and don't need much work at all. We made an offer on a house a couple of weeks ago, but the bank ended up taking someone else's offer. So, we hurried back to Minneapolis to look again and found another house we really liked! Hooray! So as we were about to head out to our realtor's office to put in our offer, lo and behold the house had already sold. So, we went out later that day and found another house we really liked, but as we were ready to put an offer on it, we found out it had just sold too! Ugh. So, we went back out the next day and found another one we really liked. And now our offer is in on that one and from what we have heard so far it looks promising. But I'm not holding my breath. So, I will refrain from giving you all details about the house because that will just make me even more bummed if it doesn't go through. So everyone cross your fingers and hope that we have a house soon!

So, Michael started his new job on Monday and says he really likes it so far, which is great. Although I haven't been able to talk to him much since he is staying at Ken and Kelly's house in Eagan and I am back in Ironwood with the kids. If things don't go through soon with this house, we are just going to give in and get an apartment while we sort things out, but we really don't want to have to move our stuff in twice! Anyways, I am really glad that Michael is liking his new job so far. Yay Michael!

So last weekend we went down to Milwaukee to celebrate my brother in law Tyler's graduation from med school. Way to go, Dr. T! Even more exciting (in my opinion) is that he'll be doing his residency in St. Paul which means we will all be nice and close. Yay! So, we all went swimming at the hotel over the weekend in Milwaukee and boy did the kids have fun together. Well, Katie and Ryan did. Calvin was so tired that he just pretty much snuggled on AnnaMarie the whole time, but at least he wasn't crying. Anyways, here are some fun swimming pictures:

Michael and Calvin--for the 5 minutes when Calvin wasn't pretty much asleep, he really liked splashing on the stairs here:

Here's Christy walking on the water...with a little help from Dad:

Snuggly Calvin:

He was pretty out of it, but loved being with AnnaMarie:

I love this one of Ryan and Christy. Ryan definitely preferred the hot tub over the pool, so good thing they were only separated by this little wall so he could still interact with everyone else:

Michael and Calvin checking out the hot tub side:

Grandpa convincing Katie to come in the pool:

Calvin in his swimming duds before heading down to the pool:

Boy did he love those sliding mirror doors!

Uncle James spinning the kids around in a chair:

Anyways, it was a fun weeked, so thanks to Dad for putting us up and Tyler for graduating!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who's that on the p.a.?

Funny Ryan update. So, we were at Benjamin's track meet here in Ironwood today and Ryan had a pretty funny moment. We were sitting around waiting for Benjamin's event and every now and then some guy would announce the next event over the p. a. Every time the announcer said anything Ryan would pay rapt attention and answer the voice with "Yeah?" or "OK!" or "I know." After a while, he said to me "Mom, who IS that guy?" I said, "It's just some guy talking on a microphone." Ryan looked dissappointed and said, "Oh, you mean it's not Jesus?"


After much discussion over the last few months, I finally gave up and gave Calvin a haircut. It's not his first one--I've given him trims before--but it is definitely his most dramatic haircut yet. It was getting pretty gross after PBJs, which happen about 3 times a day for this kid, so I knew it would have to be soon. Michael was spot-on when he said I just liked Calvin's hair longer because I don't have a girl, but is that so wrong?

Anyways, we were in Minneapolis visiting Kelly (actually, we were mooching off of her while house-hunting, not so much visiting--THANK YOU KELLY!!!!) and I decided it was time. So while Ryan was napping I took Calvin upstairs, stripped him down and started the haircut. The longest piece Kelly had for her hair trimmer was a half inch, so I figured I would just do that one on the back and use scissors up top. The only problem was that Calvin was not unconscious, and therefore wiggled around like a crazy man. He really freaked out with the trimmers, too. So, long story short, his whole head got buzzed to a half inch. I almost cried when I saw him. Not that he isn't still cute as a button, because, believe me, he is! But I really really really missed the hair.

I wasn't the only one, either. Calvin was sitting on the kitchen floor when Ryan woke up and came into the kitchen. He gave Calvin a funny look and I knew he was confused about something, so I asked him where Calvin was. Here is how it went down:

Ryan: "I don't know, where is he?"
Me: "Uh, he's right next to you, he just got a haircut."
Ryan: Silent.
Me: "See, this is Calvin, right here."
Ryan: "No, I mean where is OUR Calvin?"
Me: "This is our Calvin, see, look at his face."
Ryan: "No it's not."
Me: "Yes it is! This is your brother."
Ryan: "No it's not."

This went on for a while, but finally, when Ryan was satified that that was, in fact, his brother, he sat down next to Calvin, put his arm around him and said, "Calvin, sorry about your haircut."

I about died laughing.

Here are some comparison shots:



Still adorable, I know!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Calvin's birthday pictures!

So finally I have some pictures to put up from Calvin's birthday! He tore into his cake like a champ. Way better than when Ryan was one and I had to gently smash it into his face a little for a good picture. Not with Calvin, though. See for yourself.

Awesome cake progression pictures:

Calvin also got to open presents, but this is the only one I got pictures of--his toy camera from Liz and Erik. He LOVES that thing.

We love our sweet baby boy. I can't believe he's already one!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Caroline is the best!

Happy mother's day Caroline!

I sure love you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Big eventful month!

So, the last few weeks have been busy busy busy around here! Here's a quick recap:

-Calvin started walking
-We took a trip to Utah
-Calvin turned 1!
-I officially graduated
-Michael accepted a job offer (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
-We started house hunting!

It has been crazy busy, but we've been having a good time, as usual. So, just before our trip out to Utah, Calvin started actually walking a few steps at a time. His record so far is probably just like 10 steps, so he's not cruising everywhere, but he gets so excited when we all clap for him that he just about explodes with smiles and laughs.

We left for Utah on the 21st and I spent a nice 8 days there with the boys. Michael came out with us for a few days and then he and James drove our moving truck across the country--SO MUCH FUN, (right Michael?)! We had so much fun with my parents and seeing old friends. My dad introduced Calvin to his very first girl scout cookie. He went absolutely crazy. It was hillarious. We love and miss you guys!

On the 22nd, Calvin turned 1. I can't believe he's so big already. He's still more of a baby than Ryan was at this age, which is really nice. He's still our cuddly little guy. I have some great pictures of him with his cake, but they will have to wait, since I haven't taken them off my camera yet.

On the 24th and 25th I had commencement at BYU for my MBA. It was so much fun to see my old friends and have an official goodbye. I loved doing the program. I already miss it a lot.

Our biggest news--Michael accepted a job offer! Hooray for Michael! We're really excited about it and we're looking at houses now in the twin cities area, so we're very happy about it all. We will keep you all updated!

And now, for the funny Ryan stories.

So, I'm pretty sure that in Ryan's mind, pirates, alligators and Lamanites are the root of all evil. Every time we tell Ryan that something is naughty, he tries to make sense of it by saying that either pirates, alligators or Lamanites do that, too. Today he got a new harmonica with some birthday money, and Michael explained to him that we don't eat food and play the harmonica at the same time because then food would get stuck in the harmonica. Ryan immediately said "Yeah, like, Lamanites like to eat food and play harmonicas at the same time." The other day he came up with some crazy story that went a little something like this "So, yesterday, while I was sleeping, some pirates came and fought me out of bed. Then they put me in a box and left me in the road." After I asked him what happened next, he continued, "Then I got out of the box and the pirates took me home and helped me get back into bed." When I ask him to buckle his seat belt and not wiggle his arms out so he'll be safe, he says, "Pirates like to ride in the car without their seatbelts." And almost every time I ask him to hurry and finish his lunch, he says "Oh, so the alligators won't eat it?"

And now, for some pictures!

Our family at my graduation:

Me and my good friend Kristen (who got her MACc) in our hoods!

Me after my little jaunt across the stage:

Me getting my diploma:

Me and my Grandpa Balcom: